General Safety Considerations for Essential Oil Use

(courtesy APRM, Sylla Sheppard-Hanger, copyright 1994)

* Keep essential oils out of reach of children. Do not leave a bottle which has no fixed integral dropper where a child could take off the cap and consume contents.

* Do not use directly on or near the eyes; ensure caution with compresses? Most diluted essential oils will sting the eyes; if accidents happen, flush with clean warm water; if NEAT oils get is the eye, immediately flush with cold full fat milk, or vegetable oil to dilute. If stinging is not alleviated, seek medical assistance.

* Do not, unless otherwise advised by an expert, apply neat essential oil onto the skin.

* To remove neat oil spills on hands, use cream or vegetable oil to dilute, apply soap, wash with warm water; may need to be repeated.

* Never assume that an essential oil will have the same properties as credited to the whole plant from which it is obtained.

* Ingesting any oil should only be undertaken under the supervision of a professional health advisor and never exceed the suggested amount.

* Essential oils should always be used diluted over a large body area.

* Excess (of EOs) can cause headaches, nausea and general feeling of uneasiness; drink plenty of water, get fresh air, take frequent breaks.

* Do not drive a motor vehicle (or allow client to) immediately following a relaxation treatment or after using soporific oils (e.g., clary sage)

* Regulate the frequency when using essential oils. If used daily over a two week period, give a week’s grace before recommencing treatment.

* Reduce the chance of acquiring a sensitivity reaction from constant use of same oil(s) over several years by varying choices. This gives the body a break from constant use.

* If any kind of skin rash is observed when using a particular essential oil, stop using it immediately and try another oil.

When working daily with essential oils, follow these precautions:

* Use only safe essential oils in dilution, avoid contact with neat oils (wear gloves when bottling)

* Ensure adequate ventilation

* Take frequent breaks

* Tolerance increase with time

* Avoid transferring oils to sensitive areas (nose, face, neck)

* Vary the essential oils worked with (or diffused) daily

* Avoid sensitizing oils if hands become cracked or sore